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hawaiiansteel
01-17-2012, 01:44 AM
Ed Bouchette's Steelers chat 1.16.12: Ziggy at NT?

MONDAY, 16 JANUARY 2012 15:09 WRITTEN BY ED BOUCHETTE

Let's begin.

John: With a somewhat low pick and Lebeaus difficult scheme and if we go D with the first pick. which position need would be easier to have a first year starter? DT, ILB, OLB

Ed Bouchette: Having a low pick did not stop them from drafting Pouncey and him starting immediately. Same for Marcus Gilbert. Of those three, NT

Gabe: Do you believe that Ben has too much control of this team?

Ed Bouchette: No.

Gabe: Whom do you believe was behind Hines Ward being benched?

Ed Bouchette: I assume it was at the recommendation of the offensive coordinator, Bruce Arians, and the approval of Mike Tomlin, the head coach. That's usually how that stuff works.

NYSteeler: Hi Ed, thanks for another great year of coverage. What do you think the Steelers long-term plan is with Wallace, I'm assuming he will be back under the RFA tender but do you think they will try to lock him up long-term this offseason?

Ed Bouchette: I think he'll be back under a one-year RFA tender, and they'll go from there.

Atlanta Dan: With the Saints and Packers now departed from the playoffs is it possible that teams still need to play at least defense to be successful in the playoffs

Ed Bouchette: What kind of defense was that being played by San Francisco at the end?

Dude_from_Cali: Ed: does causing a QB fumble behind line of scrimmage count as SACK?

Ed Bouchette: Yes, provided the quarterback was intending to pass. If they perceive it was a run -- Troy Polamalu had a sack changed to a tackle for a loss in Cleveland -- then it's no sack.

Guest: Your predictions on how the Steelers get under the salary cap for 2012?

Ed Bouchette: This talk about the salary cap reminds me of the same talk that occurred last summer when they were millions over the cap and somehow found a way. You can change salary into signing bonus, for one. You can release high salaries, for another. You can ask others to take less, i.e., Hines Ward if they go that way.

Guest: Saw your comment about the Steelers needing a tight end. What about Weslye Saunders, who they say has great hands and saw a lot of playing time. I think the kid can be great, don't you?

Ed Bouchette: Go back and read that I wrote a "blocking" tight end.

NYSteeler: True or False, they lock up Wallace to a long term deal this offseason?

Ed Bouchette: Probably not.

Big City: Ben taking so many shots finally caught up to the Steelers this year. Upgrading the OL should have been more of a priority the past few years. Will they finally get it through their heads this year?

Ed Bouchette: They drafted Pouncey on the first round in 2010 and Marcus Gilbert on the second round in 2011. I don't think they've been ignoring it.

Atlanta Dan: Does the injury to Max Starks increase or decrease his odds of returning to the Steelers next season?

Ed Bouchette: I think Marcus Gilbert will play LT.

Guest: If you're the GM what do you do in the draft?

Ed Bouchette: I spend the next three months evaluating the prospects, and determine my draft board and then when it comes time, I take the best players at whatever position not counting quarterback and center.

Jim in VT: Do you see any likelihood of Ziggy Hood being the NT next year, at least part time?

Ed Bouchette: Indeed, I suggested that in my morning slog blog.

Ed 2: Ravens or Patriots? How do we choose? They both make me sick

Ed Bouchette: Rent a good movie instead.

JerseySteel: Ed, what do you attibute all the injuries to, poor conditioning, bad luck, or a combination of both and do you believe we might see a new strength & conditioning coach next year?

Ed Bouchette: It ihas nothing to do with the strength and conditioning coach. Injuries in football happen, sometimes more so. Often, teams that have less so reach the Super Bowl.

Atlanta Dan: Do the Steelers have the cap room and anticipate bringing Casey Hampton back in 2012?

Ed Bouchette: I would bet not at his $8 million salary.

Indysteeler: Hi Ed, thanks for continuing the chats.....do you see the Steelers using the Franchise tag this year? If so, on who?

Ed Bouchette: I don't really see anyone they would use it on.

Guest: Ed, what is the likelihood of Jerricho Cotchery returning in 2012? I view him as Hines's replacement on the roster and mentor for the young players.

Ed Bouchette: Cotchery is a very apt wide receiver. His problem with the Steelers is they have three ahead of him, if they all stay healthy. If you are Cotchery, would you return as a UFA under those circumstances or try to find a team where you can play more, even start? And if you are the Steelers, what are you going to pay him to stay as your, at best, No. 4? I think he'll leave.

JerseySteel: Ed, what do you believe is for the best way to tell the Steelers athletic, pass catching tight ends are in vouge and is okay to use in their offensive game plan.

Ed Bouchette: Maybe if the Patriots win the Super Bowl.

dude from Latrobe: Hi Ed. Do you think that maybe the lock-out actually did more harm than good to the Steelers? I'm recalling at number of out of shape Steelers at Ben's wedding, a week prior to camp. Maybe not being in shape contributed to some of, not all, the injuries?

Ed Bouchette: The most out-of-shape Steelers, they have admitted, were Max Starks and Trai Essex. Starks started every game until he was hurt in the finale. Essex did not miss a game. You need to work on another theory.

David from Vegas: Is this teams "window" still open for a Super Bowl run the next couple of years?

Ed Bouchette: This team won't go through any drastic changes in 2012. Some old faces may be gone and a few peripheral players but nothing major to their starting lineup.

Taz: Ed, what was the question you asked Hines Ward, to which he replied he was open to "restructuring" his contract? The way he responded to your question implies a greater context.

Ed Bouchette: I asked him if he would take a pay cut and he would. He said he knows they won't pay him $4 million to play in 2012.

Taz: Hi Ed, when can we expect to see first movements on FAs and RFAs?

Ed Bouchette: March 13

Indysteeler: Play Colts GM, do you take Luck and have both Luck and Manning on the same team....dare you trade Manning or the #1 pick?

Ed Bouchette: If I determine that Luck is the QB many say he is, yes, I draft him. Don't know if I can trade Manning because of the cap ramifications. I try to talk him into retiring, but that won't work, so I release him because I just cannot afford to keep him during what will be a rebuilding process.

Brian in Mich: Ed, any chance Willie Colon comes back and moves to guard next year?

Ed Bouchette: I think he'll remain at right tackle.

Guest: Hi Ed, do you think Mendenhall will be 100% next year?

Ed Bouchette: If the ACL heals as most do, he should be ready by August.

JerseySteel: Ed, who do you believe will be the starter next year, Gay or Lewis or do you believe someone else might seize that opportunity?

Ed Bouchette: William Gay can go on the open market and I believe someone else will want to sign him as their No. 3. He's No. 2 here, but I don't see a big contract for him from the Steelers.

Dude_from_Cali: Ed: your 35 years in the NFL BIZ, you're not shocked by "ONE AND DONE" in playoff's anymore, right?

Ed Bouchette: I saw the great Chuck Noll bring a team home 5-11, so nothing shocks me. One and done? The 1977 Steelers did that too, also in Denver.

Guest: Will Dennis Dixon be back next year? I assume Charlie B will not.

Ed Bouchette: I don't think Dennis wants to come back to be a No. 3 QB again. He wants to go somewhere he can at least be No. 2. Now, he has to have a suitor for him to do that.

ken sogan: What about moving Polamalu to CB? Sounds crazy but I don't see him playing an injury free season again in his current role

Ed Bouchette: You're right, it sounds crazy.

Guest: Do you think the Steeler coaches will work with Wallace to act as a defensive back when he can't make a catch, and also work with him on catching the ball with his hands and not his body

Ed Bouchette: I'm sure, especially after watching tape of the second half of the 2011 season. They will have plenty to point out to him.

Dude_from_Cali: If Ziggy becomes NT, how many pounds does Ziggy need to ADD?

Ed Bouchette: I'd say 10. You don't have to be 350 to play the position.

Indysteeler: Ed, most surprising/disappointing NFL teams in 2011? Who were they?

Ed Bouchette: Surprise has to be 49ers, by far. Disappointing? Jets.

Touchdown Joey: Watching Graham, Davis, Hernandez and Gronkowski this weekend made me realize how average Heath Miller really is.

Ed Bouchette: Were you watching any of them block? Were they given the chance to catch passes?

http://plus.sites.post-gazette.com/inde ... ript-11612 (http://plus.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/pro-sports/steelers/114419-ed-bouchettes-steelers-chat-transcript-11612)

Chadman
01-17-2012, 05:40 AM
Would be very happy to see Hood move inside. His functional strength looks decent. He's also a little short & squat to be the prototype 3-4 DE.

As a NT, he'd be more like Chris Hoke than Casey Hampton, but given the defenses lack of good pass rush last season, that might be a good thing to have a Hoke-type inserted there. Hood seems to play with good hustle, just not sure if he's a natural 'dominant' 3-4 DE with his skill set. Seems good against the run though.

It would likely mean the drafting of another 3-4 DE within the next 2 years to back-up & then replace Keisel.

Slapstick
01-17-2012, 08:43 AM
Ziggy worked out at NT before on this team...

The Steelers need to judge whether or not guys like Al Woods and Corbin Bryant can play...they have more than enough info on both of them, at this point...

Oviedo
01-17-2012, 09:19 AM
IMO Ziggy at NT could be a positive. Ziggy was a very good interior pass rusher coming out of college until we trained him to just hold OTs. Our DL needs to go more into the attack mode to disrupt the opponents offense similar to what Baltimore does versus just hold in place.

Slapstick
01-17-2012, 09:33 AM
Given Hampton's $8 million cap hit, the Steelers' three best D-Lineman going into next season could very well be:

Ziggy, Heyward and Keisel...

Putting Ziggy at NT gets your three best DL on the field...

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
01-17-2012, 10:57 AM
Dam it! I wish I knew if that was the Steelers thinking. That's gonna screw up my whole draft strategy. :HeadBanger

Shoe
01-17-2012, 11:50 AM
Given Hampton's $8 million cap hit, the Steelers' three best D-Lineman going into next season could very well be:

Ziggy, Heyward and Keisel...

Putting Ziggy at NT gets your three best DL on the field...

Now that makes sense...

Oviedo, I don't really think he was a "very good" pass rusher, even in college. i.e. I don't think anyone ever classified him as a "pass rusher" coming out by any stretch. The guy, while not a "bust", hasn't established himself as a 1st round pick should. I do think Slapstick said it best: that it's the attempt to put your best 3 guys on the field at the same time, giving us a slightly better (cumulative) D-line. It's worth trying.

aggiebones
01-17-2012, 12:11 PM
Your best three would then be, find a reasonable way to keep Hampton and let Hood and Heywood keep learning. Also, draft a REAL NT, not spinning down a DE.

This is not a 4-3 DT. We need more of an eater for our defense. How many sacks did Aaron Smith get in his career? Not many.
If/When we switch defenses to a 4-3, then ponder him as a weak DT.

Slapstick
01-17-2012, 12:36 PM
It depends upon what, if anything, the Steelers do with the base defensive philosophy...

In many 3-4 alignments, like the Texans, Cowboys and the 49ers, the 3 DL are responsible for one gap. Typically, in the LeBeau D, the DL are responsible for defending 2 gaps. You can still defend the run effectively with this philosophy (the 49ers sure as hell did!) but it allows the D-Linemen to be more than gap pluggers...they can become pass rushers as well...

In today's pass happy NFL, it may work out better to do this...beyond run gap responsibilities, the Steelers wouldn't have to change much of anything...it would also place more responsibility on your two first round D-linemen...

BradshawsHairdresser
01-17-2012, 12:41 PM
It depends upon what, if anything, the Steelers do with the base defensive philosophy...

In many 3-4 alignments, like the Texans, Cowboys and the 49ers, the 3 DL are responsible for one gap. Typically, in the LeBeau D, the DL are responsible for defending 2 gaps. You can still defend the run effectively with this philosophy (the 49ers sure as hell did!) but it allows the D-Linemen to be more than gap pluggers...they can become pass rushers as well...

In today's pass happy NFL, it may work out better to do this...beyond run gap responsibilities, the Steelers wouldn't have to change much of anything...it would also place more responsibility on your two first round D-linemen...

Good post. Would love to see DL players given more opportunity to rush the QB...which would probably make a run-stuffing ILB an even higher priority, no?

JDSteeler
01-17-2012, 12:56 PM
Ziggy is too soft to play the NOSE!!!!

If the coaching staff allows him to start there, our run defense will be hot, smoking garbage!!!

JD

steelblood
01-17-2012, 12:57 PM
John: With a somewhat low pick and Lebeaus difficult scheme and if we go D with the first pick. which position need would be easier to have a first year starter? DT, ILB, OLB

Ed Bouchette: Having a low pick did not stop them from drafting Pouncey and him starting immediately. Same for Marcus Gilbert. Of those three, NT


Seriously Ed? The guy was asking about how hard it is to be a first year starter in our defense (which is undeniable) and you refute this by using offensive linemen as your evidence. You are a tool who puts the bare minimum of effort into most of what you do.

Ghost
01-17-2012, 02:12 PM
John: With a somewhat low pick and Lebeaus difficult scheme and if we go D with the first pick. which position need would be easier to have a first year starter? DT, ILB, OLB

Ed Bouchette: Having a low pick did not stop them from drafting Pouncey and him starting immediately. Same for Marcus Gilbert. Of those three, NT


Seriously Ed? The guy was asking about how hard it is to be a first year starter in our defense (which is undeniable) and you refute this by using offensive linemen as your evidence. You are a tool who puts the bare minimum of effort into most of what you do.

I was going to post this exact thing but my pesky job got in the way. What a lazy, douche comment. Oh wait, that's almost all of his comments.

steelz09
01-17-2012, 02:43 PM
I think Ed Bouchette needs to jump off the closest cliff/bridge in Pittsburgh. The guy is a miserable old man.

Most of his comments provided no insight at all. He doesn't answer any question directly and 90% of his responses are rude. He just comes across as a complete a-hole.

RuthlessBurgher
01-17-2012, 02:50 PM
I think Ed Bouchette needs to jump off the closest cliff/bridge in Pittsburgh.

Take your pick:

http://cdn.c.photoshelter.com/img-get/I0000ErRjgFcD3v8/s/750/600/9185C015.jpg

phillyesq
01-17-2012, 02:50 PM
IMO Ziggy at NT could be a positive. Ziggy was a very good interior pass rusher coming out of college until we trained him to just hold OTs. Our DL needs to go more into the attack mode to disrupt the opponents offense similar to what Baltimore does versus just hold in place.

In the Steelers scheme, the defense lineman, especially the NT, are expected to occupy two blockers to allow the linebackers to make plays. However, they certainly do more than just "hold OTs" as you suggest. In some of his peak seasons, Aaron Smith had 8 sacks, as did KVO one year. Ray Seals had I believe nine sacks in 1995.

Part of commanding the double team is playing to a level where you cannot be blocked effectively one-on-one. I've heard lineman say that Aaron Smith in his prime was unblockable. You don't see or hear that from Ziggy, who seemed to regress a bit at times this year. He has the size and probably the quickness to be an effective 3-4 DE, but at times, he seems to struggle with holding the point of attack or setting the edge. I also don't see the disruption or burst that you'd hope to see from him. Heyward, on the other hand, has shown more flashes of that.

I'm not at all suggesting that Ziggy is a bust - I think he can be a solid starter at DE. But so far, he hasn't shown that he can play up to the level of even KVO. He needs to continue to improve.

As a NT, I haven't seen that he has the strength to be a 3-4 NT in the Hampton mold or the disrputiveness to play in the mold of a Chris Hoke. He seems better suited as an end.

I think the ideal for this defense would be adding a 3-4 NT of the future, and I've always thought, with this being the last year of Hampton's deal, that this was the time to make the move. If Hampton returns, the rookie gets a year to learn from Hampton.

I think the Steelers will need another stout player on the DL. We saw the way they had to completely sell out to try to stop the Denver running game, and the way that the Ravens have had success running the ball against Pittsburgh. Ziggy, Heyward, Kiesel, Rookie NT, McClendon and perhaps Hampton is a nice mix of youth and veteran savvy up front, and gives the Steelers nice depth.

I'd prefer a real NT to moving Ziggy to NT.

focosteeler
01-17-2012, 03:14 PM
if hampton is due 8 million next year i say cut him. he is no where close to that valuable in my opinion

steelz09
01-17-2012, 03:25 PM
if hampton is due 8 million next year i say cut him. he is no where close to that valuable in my opinion

I've always been a Hampton fan but I totally agree with this. You can't pay a player 8/million when he rarely even plays on 3rd down. Compound that with a player that has definitely declined in production and you have a prime cut candidate. No Hampton, no "primte cut" as in a good steak. "Prime cut" as in you can kiss your 8/million next year goodbye :)

feltdizz
01-17-2012, 03:58 PM
if hampton is due 8 million next year i say cut him. he is no where close to that valuable in my opinion

:Agree

That's insane for a 2 down NT

phillyesq
01-17-2012, 04:29 PM
if hampton is due 8 million next year i say cut him. he is no where close to that valuable in my opinion

I've always been a Hampton fan but I totally agree with this. You can't pay a player 8/million when he rarely even plays on 3rd down. Compound that with a player that has definitely declined in production and you have a prime cut candidate. No Hampton, no "primte cut" as in a good steak. "Prime cut" as in you can kiss your 8/million next year goodbye :)

Where it gets tricky is that $8 million is the cap hit, but a significant portion of that (approximately $3 million, I think) is a prorated portion of his signing bonus. So whether he steps on the field or not, his cap hit will be at least $3 million. He would likely have to agree to an extension or reduction to return, and there are also the health issues.

One of many complicated situations the Steelers will have to address.

Dee Dub
01-17-2012, 05:08 PM
Yeah Bouchette is amazing. I loved this gym of wisdom...

Guest: Hi Ed, do you think Mendenhall will be 100% next year?

Ed Bouchette: If the ACL heals as most do, he should be ready by August.

Really?? :roll:

pick6
01-17-2012, 06:06 PM
if hampton is due 8 million next year i say cut him. he is no where close to that valuable in my opinion

I've always been a Hampton fan but I totally agree with this. You can't pay a player 8/million when he rarely even plays on 3rd down. Compound that with a player that has definitely declined in production and you have a prime cut candidate. No Hampton, no "primte cut" as in a good steak. "Prime cut" as in you can kiss your 8/million next year goodbye :)

Where it gets tricky is that $8 million is the cap hit, but a significant portion of that (approximately $3 million, I think) is a prorated portion of his signing bonus. So whether he steps on the field or not, his cap hit will be at least $3 million. He would likely have to agree to an extension or reduction to return, and there are also the health issues.

One of many complicated situations the Steelers will have to address.

Thanks for this info. I think Casey will be back and he will make millions. Casey knows that he can't make 8 million anywhere in the league at this piont in his career so does he go somewhere else and get paid less or does he stay with his team and make less. He stays with the team because there is absolutely no reason to cut him. If we believe that he comes back from the injury, cutting him would hurt the team. Mcclendon is good but we draft a NT who splits time with Casey. I think McClendon can play both NT and DE moreso than Ziggy.